Doctors all set to go on 12-hour strike

Doctors all set to go on 12-hour strike

However, the emergency services have not been affected.

IMA Hubballi unit president Dr G B Sathoora said outpatient departments will remain closed on Tuesday.

The National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill was tabled in Parliament on Friday.

The association, the country's professional body of doctors, is at the forefront of the protest against the draft bill arguing that it will seriously impede the democratic functioning of the profession.

"We have been forced to protest as we have no other option", said state Indian Medical Association Secretary N.Sulphi to the media.

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"The National Medical Commission in its present form is not acceptable to us". To register its protest, the association urged its 2.9 lakh members to participate in the strike from 6 am to 6 pm on Tuesday.

While doctors in government hospitals will continue their services, they will observe a "Black Day" by wearing a black arm band as their way of participating in the strike. A medical practitioner from the city said that on the one hand the government is planning to come up with a bridge course to allow alternate medecine practitioners to prescribe allopathic medecine, while on the other it is introducing more examinations for MBBS doctors. The bill is likely to be taken for discussion in the Lok Sabha on January 2.

IMA President expressed his apprehension that the bill will increase corruption in medical education and will push up cost of medical education very high while standard of medical education will fall definitely. "Moreover the new norms will allow any foreign doctor to practice in India without any restriction as it does away with the screening test for foreign medical graduates", he said. In Kerala, medical students have started an indefinite hunger strike against the Bill. A 25-member commission will replace the elected MCI, the Bill says.

"Under NMC, 60 percent of the seats will be open for the private colleges to fix a fee of their choice, which means instead of 15 percent students, now 60 percent students will be paying a hefty sum in fee".